On Monday I drove into the city for a meeting. On the way in, at the exit of the Eastern Freeway, I got held up in traffic. I was on time, so I didn’t mind. In the car behind me, an old, white Corolla, was a woman who looked exactly like my dead little sister. Exactly. Her hair was back in a tight bun, her skin seemed olive, her eyes and cheekbones were the same as Libby’s. I watched her in my rear view mirror. She drank an iced coffee and the bottle obscured her face. I tried for a better look in my side mirror. The traffic started moving and she indicated to change lanes, crossed two of them, then she was gone.
Seeing not-Libby like that did something.
I know it wasn’t her.
She wasn’t Libby. Libby is at Platypus Rock and she is in my heart. But seeing that woman hurt.
I’m back in the spin cycle, rough cycle, hard-wash cycle, of my washing machine of grief. I’ve tried to shake it off. Maybe that’s why it’s still here. Maybe with all my learning and paying attention and knowing sometimes you’ve gotta sit with things – sadness or anger, happiness, too – I haven’t learned it well enough. You’ve got to spend time with it. Give the feeling it’s due, If tears have to come, I have to let them, as inconvenient and as blotch-red and puffy-faced as they can be.
I’ve spent the week pushing my tears away, saying, later, later, later.
I’ve been in bed.
Read about procrastination.
Put my phone on silent.
Didn’t touch the novel.
Didn’t go near the blog.
Didn’t speak to anybody who could wait.
Become angry at my inertia.
Wanted the person I was last week, the bright, enthusiastic, look-out-world-here-I-come person, to come the fuck back.
I went to Playtpus Rock. I took photos. Always do. The river was high, the highest it’s been since we scattered her ashes. The three-person rock was almost submerged. I talked to Libby, but not much, the words were making me cry.
I didn’t get the peace I was after.
It’s a bit silly to go to a place as wonderful and transformative as Platypus Rock, the place where she is and I can talk to her, tell her I miss her, cry in freedom, and try to suppress your feelings. It didn’t ‘work’ because I didn’t let it.
I’m going back today.
I’ll go this afternoon. I’ll pick up Darren, Libby’s partner, and we’ll go. When the tears come – and they will – I will let them. I will cry like Hell, get it out, give them the credit they deserve. I might shout, I don’t know but I feel like I might. The tears will subside to talking. The harsh feeling will soften. The lightness will come.
Then I’ll go home and I’ll catch up.
I’ll plug-in. Again.
hey, duckface! stop trying to eat my little sister!